If you are like me, even though you are conservative Bible student, you like to turn to the Old Testament Library (OTL) series to get a good grasp of the critical position. Though there are some things you will greatly disagree with in the series, there often observations on structure and theology that others miss. This volume by Richard J. Clifford that replaced McKane’s earlier one accomplishes all those things. It does it in spite of the fact that the Book of Proverbs lends itself less to such observations.
After a bibliography, Clifford jumps into an Introduction of the Book of Proverbs. There’s a very interesting outline given. The discussion of dating and the editing of the text matches the critical position, as does the historical context. My least favorite aspect of the introduction that can also be found in the commentary itself is the author’s conviction that the book of Proverbs is modeled off Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and other such cultures. When Clifford addresses the distinctive ideas found in Proverbs he’s especially helpful. He has a unique way of expressing himself that really gets you to thinking.
Any commentary on the Book of Proverbs, including the best ones out there, is of necessity a little hit-or-miss on any specific verse. In any event, what’s found here is much helpful exegesis and theology, despite the sentences you may have to dismiss out of hand.
This book fully lives up to the OTL standard and is worth consulting if you can ignore his Mesopotamian obsession.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.